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 Essex Tilbury Fort


The artillery fort at Tilbury protected London until the dawn of the 20th century. Henry VIII built the first fort and, nearby, Elizabeth I rallied her army waiting for the Armada.

The present fort, the most complete example of its type in England, was begun in 1672 under Charles II. It supported powerful artillery to stop warships, a garrison to repel a land attack, and two magazines that stored vast quantities of gunpowder.Decades of quiet garrison ended in the 1870s with alterations for gigantic rifled guns; and again in 1902 for new artillery capable of fighting faster warships. At the same time, the fort became an important supply base and also accommodated troops destined for the trenches in World War I.

It remained in military hands until 1950. Decades of quiet garrison ended in the 1870s with alterations for gigantic rifled guns; and again in 1902 for new artillery capable of fighting faster warships. At the same time, the fort became an important supply base and also accommodated troops destined for the trenches in World War I. It remained in military hands until 1950.

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